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Assignment 1.

     1. These are few new and useful rules/ways to become efficient and effective in business.

1. 80/20 Th...
Focusing on the key drivers means drilling down to the core of the problem, rather than picking the whole
problem apart pi...
In the midst of interviews, it is very east for the facts to blend into one another like pools of different
colored inks o...
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  1. 1. Assignment 1. 1. These are few new and useful rules/ways to become efficient and effective in business. 1. 80/20 The 80/20 rule is one of the great truths of management consulting and, by extension, of business. You will see it wherever you look: 80 percent of your sales will come from 20 percent of your sales force: 20 percent of a secretary‘s job will take up 80 percent of her time: 20 percent of the population controls 80 percent of the wealth. It doesn‘t always work (sometimes the bread falls butter- side up), but if you keep your eyes peeled for examples of 80/20 in your business, you will come up with ways to improve it. I saw the 80/20 rule at work all the time at McKinsey and I‘ve always been impressed by its power as a problem-solving rule of thumb. 80/20 is all about data. What are your sales figures by product? What is your margin by product? How does each member of your sales team perform in terms of sales? In terms of profits? What is the success rate of your research teams? What is the geographical distribution for your customers? Sort it in various ways. Play with the numbers. You will begin to see patterns, clumps that stand out. Those patterns will highlight aspects of your business that you probably did not realize. They may mean problems (a big problem if 80 percent of your profits come from 20 percent of your product lines), but they also mean opportunities. Find the opportunities and make the most of them. 2. Don’t Boil the Ocean Work smarter, not harder. There‘s a lot of data out there relating to your problems, and a lot of analyses you could do. Ignore most of them. McKinsey gathers enough facts to probe or disprove a hypothesis or support or refute an analysis – and only enough facts. This is the flip side of fact-based analysis in a business situation. Anything more is a waste of time and effort when both are precious commodities. ―Don‘t boil the ocean‖ means don‘t try to analyze everything. Be selective; figure out the priorities of what you are doing. Know when you have done enough, and then stop. Otherwise, you will spend a lot of time and effort for very little return, like boiling the ocean to get a handful of salt. 3. Find the Key Drivers Many factors affect your business. Focus on the most important ones – the key drivers. There may be 100 different factors affecting the sales of our widgets – weather, consumer confidence, raw material prices – but the three most important ones are X, Y, and Z. We‘ll ignore the rest.
  2. 2. Focusing on the key drivers means drilling down to the core of the problem, rather than picking the whole problem apart piece by piece, layer by layer. Then, you can apply thorough, fact based analysis where it will do the most good and avoid going down blind alleys. Syntactical foibles aside, ‗key drivers‘ is a very powerful concept. It saves you time. It saves you effort. It keeps you from boiling the ocean. 4. The Elevator Test Know your solution (or your product of business) so thoroughly that you can explain it clearly and precisely to your client (or customer or investor) in 30 seconds. If you can do that, then you understand what you‘re doing well enough to sell your solution. Imagine it‘s time for that big, end of engagement presentation. You and your team have been up until 2 A.m. putting together your report, making sure that every I has been dotted and every t has been crossed. You‘re all wearing your best suits and trying to look on the ball. The senior executives of your Fortune 50 client, anxious to hear McKinsey‘s world of wisdom, are taking their places around the boardroom table on the top floor of the corporate skyscraper. The CEO strides into the room and says, ―Sorry, folks. I can‘t stay. We have a crisis and I have to go meet with our lawyers.‖ Then he turns to you and says< ―Why don‘t you ride down in the elevator with me and tell me what you‘ve found out?‖ The ride will take about 30 seconds. In that time, can you sell him your solution? That‘s the elevator test. 5. Pick the Low Hanging Fruit Sometimes in the middle of the problem solving process, opportunities arise to get an easy win, to make immediate improvements, even before the overall problem has been solved. Seize those opportunities! They create little victories for you and your team. They boost morale and give you added credibility by showing anybody who may be watching that you‘re on the ball and mean business. When possible, McKinsey consultants put this doctrine into practice. Clients can get very impatient for a result during the six months that a big McKinsey engagement can last. Giving the client something practical before the end helps reduce the pressure on the team. By plucking the low hanging fruit, by resisting the temptation to hoard our information until some big end of study presentation, we made our client more enthusiastic, our jobs easier, and ourselves happier. This rule is really about satisfying your customer in a long-term relationship. Your customer could be the purchaser of your products, or it could be a client for your services, or it could be your boss. Whoever it is, it pays to keep him happy and let him know that he is your top priority. 6. Make a Chart Every Day During the problem solving process, you learn something new every day. Put it down on paper. It will help you push your thinking. You may use it, or you may not, but once you have crystallized it on the page, you won‘t forget it.
  3. 3. In the midst of interviews, it is very east for the facts to blend into one another like pools of different colored inks on a sheet of blotting paper. Even if you take good notes at your interviews and have the minutes of your team meetings, important points could get lost. Your can avoid this by sitting down for half an hour at the end of the day and asking yourself, ―What are the three most important thins I learned today?‖ Put them down in a chart or tow – nothing fancy. Neatness doesn‘t count. If the facts don‘t lend themselves to charting (although McKinsey-ites try to put everything in charts), just write them down as bullet points. Put your results someplace where they wont get lost – don‘t just toss them into your in-tray. Later, when you are in analysis mode, you can come back to your charts and notes and think about what they mean and were they fin in terms of your solution. 7. Hit Singles You can‘t do everything, so don‘t try. Just do what you‘re supposed to do and get it right. It‘s much better to get to first base consistently than to try to hit a home run – and strike out 9 times out of 10. • It‘s impossible to de everything yourself all the time. • If you manage it once, you raise unrealistic expectations from those around you. • Once you fail to meet expectations, it is very difficult to regain credibility. • 8. Look at the Big Picture Every now and then, take a mental step back from whatever you‘re doing. Ask yourself some basic questions: How does what you‘re doing solve the problem? How does it advance your thinking? Is it the most important thing you could be doing right now? If it‘s not helping, why are you doing it? When you are trying to solve a difficult problem for your client or company, you can easily lose sight of your goal amid the million and one demands on your time. It‘s like you are hip deep n a bog, following a muddy channel that you can‘t see. Analysis B follows analysis A and seems in turn to be followed seamless by analysis C – etc. When you‘re feeling overwhelmed by it all, take a metaphorical step back and figure out what it is you‘re trying to achieve. Do this by looking at the ―big picture‖: the set of issues that make up your operating hypothesis. 9. Just Say, “I Don’t Know” The Firm pounds the concept of professional integrity into its associates from their first day on the job, and rightly so. One important aspect of professional integrity is honesty – with your clients, your team members, and yourself. Honesty includes recognizing when you haven‘t got a clue. Admitting that is a lot less costly than bluffing. Skills: • Work smarter, not harder. • Focus(key drivers)
  4. 4. • Precise and clear answers • Grab opportunity in the mid way • Note important things you learn everyday • Do things which you are good at • Starting saying no. 2) Fact Based Problem solving begins with facts. On the first day of an engagement the team combs through stacks of articles and documents to gather enough facts to illuminate their piece of the problem. When you strip away a lot of the high-minded language with which McKinsey dresses up its problem solving process, it comes down to very careful, high quality analysis of the components of the problem combined with an aggressive attitude toward fact gathering. Why are facts so important to the way McKinsey does business? There are two reason. First, facts compensate for lack of gut instinct. Most McKinsey-ites are generalists. They know a little about a lot of things. Therefore they will know less about, say, inventory management practices for perishable foodstuffs than the folks who have been running the distribution operations of Stop and Shop for the last 10 years. Gut instinct might tell those folks the solution to an inventory management problem in 10 seconds. Second, facts bridge the credibility gap. Credentials do not matter as much if the consultant is armed with facts. Many business people fear facts. Perhaps they are afraid that if they look too closely at the facts, they – or someone above them – might not like what they see. Maybe they think that if they don‘t look, the nasty facts will go away – but they won‘t. Hiding from the facts is a prescription for failure – eventually, the truth will come out. Don‘t fear facts, but rather use them. Rigidly Structured - MECE – Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive MECE structures your thinking with maximum clarity (hence minimum confusion) and maximum completeness. When you think you have determined the issues, take a hard look at them. Is each one a separate and distinct issue? If so, then your issue list is mutually exclusive. Does every aspect of the problem come under one (and only one) of these issues – that is, have you thought of everything? If so, they your issues are collectively exhaustive. In general language, MECE can be used when developing and listing issues related to the problem at hand. First, the associate must ensure that the list is mutually exclusive, or that every item is separate and distinct. Then, he/she must check that it is collectively exhaustive, that it includes every issue relevant to the problem. This approach prevents overlap and confusion. A way to approach the problem:
  5. 5. • Step 1: Frame the problem • Build the problem based on facts • Start with the hypothesis • Step 2: Approach to the problem • Develop an approach to your problem • Keep the approach as simple as possible • Progress steadily and use your learning Step 3 : Team Work • Assemble your team with the right mix of members • Bring it together • Interact with your client • Brainstorm Step 4: Selling your solutions • Presentations • Be crisp and clear • Maintain Confidentiality 3) A management consultant thinks in different way and strategies accordingly: The problem is not always the problem, The client's own diagnosis of the problem may not in fact be correct. So, before setting about devising a solution, a consultant has to dig deeper by asking questions, getting facts, and poking around to ensure that he is heading down the right path. If an associate feels that he is not working on the correct problem, he has the option to go back to the client. He should let the client know that while he was asked to focus on problem x, he feels that the real impact will come from solving problem y. The consultant should be able to back up this recommendation with facts. The client may or may not accept the recommendation, but either way he has fulfilled his obligation. Don't reinvent the wheel, Most business problems are more similar than different. This means that a large number of questions can be answered through use of a small number of problem-solving techniques. One technique, which has proved especially valuable, is the Forces at Work model. In this model, the consultants identify current suppliers, customers, competitors, and possible substitute products. Then, they list all changes occurring in each category and the effect, positive or negative, that they may have on the client. They also list any internal changes effecting the client or industry and determine which of these changes could force adjustment to the client's operations. This tool allows the consultants to develop an understanding of the competitive market their client faces, as well as how this environment might change. Consultants need to remember that every client is unique, and thus that there are no cookie- cutter solutions. Similar problems do not necessarily have similar solutions. Although the tools used for a problem may be the same, they must be applied to every unique situation. It is a mistake for consultants to generalize solutions. Rather, they need to test their hypothesis with facts and analysis in order to determine that the solution they have chosen is the correct one for the situation at hand.
  6. 6. Don't make the facts fit your solution No matter how inspired the team or individual finds its initial hypothesis to be, it must be prepared to adjust that hypothesis if the facts do not support it. The facts are static, so it is the solution which must be flexible and dynamic in order to solve the problem. Make sure your solution fits your client. It is a consultant's job to recognize the unique strengths, weaknesses and limitations of his/her client. In some cases, the best hypothetical solution may be one that the client is unable to implement for any number of reasons. In this case, the Firm has not succeeded in solving the problem for the client, even if on paper, their proposed solution was theoretically the best. Therefore, the consultant must take into account the client's unique situation and ability or lack of ability to implement any proposed solution. Sometimes you have to let the solution come to you. There will be situations in which an initial hypothesis is impossible to formulate. This could occur if the scope of the problem is large and vague, if the client has no idea what the problem is, or if the team is breaking new ground. Although this is not an ideal situation, over time business problems become conquerable with the combination of fact-based analysis and creative thinking. Some problems you just can't solve… solve them anyway No matter how good a consultant's intentions are, sometimes the group will come up against a wall. This could come in the form of bad or missing data, a business doomed to failure by the time the Firm is called in, or hostile politics within the client organization. They may recognize that their solution will change the organization, and that this change will not be popular with all groups. They must take into account the different factors driving the politics, and attempt to build a consensus for the solution with these in mind. This may mean that the solution must be changed in order to gain acceptability. If this is the case, then they should change it. No good will be brought to the company unless it is able to accept what the Firm offers. Work Addiction Consultancy attracts workaholics. If you want quality of life, I would suggest not doing this job. Work orientation and full-time availability are themes that come up repeatedly in the texts of management consultants. Phrases such as ‗working night and day‘, ‗working one‘s guts out‘, ‗work around the clock‘ pepper the consultants‘ talk. These phrases all express an individual‘s full commitment to consultancy work. By using such expressions, consultants construct an image of a workaholic who seldom has time for other things in life. Self-Assertion Another recurring theme in the work and career talk of consultants, which is closely connected to work orientation and full-time availability, is the need to be ambitious and successful. The ‗ideal‘ consultant competes not only with other consultants but—and above all—with her/ himself. This becomes evident in the consultants‘ career accounts in the ways in which they talk about the importance of continuous self- improvement and excelling oneself.
  7. 7. Assignment 2 “Cross Cultural Learning plays a Crucial Role in Management Consultancy” Cross-cultural communication Cross-cultural communication (also frequently referred to as intercultural communication, which is also used in a different sense, though) is a field of study that looks at how people from differing cultural backgrounds communicate, in similar and different ways among themselves, and how they Endeavour to communicate across cultures. Organizational culture is an elusive construct, even when examined within the context of a single society. When one begins to examine organizational cultures across societal cultures, however, the construct can become even more elusive, and the unique threats to accurate interpretation and definition at this level are often well-hidden. A central goal in such cross-cultural analysis of organizational culture seems to us to be the isolation of differences attributable to organizational culture from differences attributable to societal culture or industrial demands. Some primary difficulties in achieving this goal arise from confusion about levels of analysis and about the Questions we are actually trying to answer, while others arise from the fact that manifestations of culture dimensions at the societal level can serve to mask or accentuate related dimensions at the organizational level.
  8. 8. Understanding culture as it is manifested across societies is a difficult undertaking, as is reflected in the wealth of literature on the topic. Understanding culture as it is manifested across organizations within a single society is also a difficult undertaking, as is reflected in the wealth of literature on that topic. Understanding culture as it is manifested across organizations from different societies – cross-cultural organizational culture analysis – is an extraordinarily difficult undertaking, as is reflected by the relative lack of literature on the topic. In fact, examining organizational culture in a cross-cultural context raises the question of what precisely is organizational culture? If the differences between organizations from different countries are largely attributable to differences between the countries themselves, is this a question of organizational culture at all? Further, if the differences are attributable to differences between industries, or between regions within a country, to what extent are these issues of organizational culture? Cross culture in management consultancy As the management consultancy world becomes increasingly global, the need for effective cross cultural communication is essential. Cross cultural communication in business plays a vital role in building international customers, employee relations and business partnerships. Cross cultural communication in business requires effort, technique and the addressing of different hurdles that commonly prevent communication from being effective • Cross cultural communication is defined by Gotland University as ―a process of exchanging, negotiating, and mediating one's cultural differences through language, non-verbal gestures, and space relationships.‖ Business communication is the exchange of messages related to companies through symbols, action and verbal words. Importance / Benefits • Cross cultural communication in management consultancy plays a vital role in successfully establishing the product or service in a different area of the globe. When the communication is effective, the product or service is appropriately tailored to the cultural norms and expectations resulting in the use or purchase of the product. Ineffective communication cross culturally can
  9. 9. offend, confuse or send a misunderstood message which could lead to broken relations with investors or employees. Barriers – Language • A common cross cultural barrier in management consultancy communication is the use of language. Not every management consultancy globally does business in English. Even if they do, there can be different meanings for the same English word. According to the website of business communication group Quintessential, language barriers come in the form of either the use of inappropriate language or the use of foreign languages. Barriers – Culture • Each culture has a different set of values, business ethics, languages, behavior, expected etiquette and expression. Not knowing the differences in the country that the company is doing business in can lead to communication barriers that prohibit the messages from being effective. Barriers – Company Culture • A company culture is the norms and expectations within a company. This can be the organizational structure, policies and specific procedures that create a unique culture within the company. Expanding business communication cross culturally requires the management consultancy to assess its current culture and identify any possible hindrances that the company culture may present in a different country. Considerations • According to the University of Colorado, knowledge is the key to effective cross cultural business communication. Knowledge takes a step back and observes the differences between the two cultures and makes adjustments based on the observation. One approach to ensuring the cross cultural communication is being effective is to implement active listening that uses questions to clarify the message
  10. 10. Cross-Cultural Training The expatriate training program is explicitly designed to support the needs of global organisations that use strategic expatriate movement to achieve their goals. The success of an organisation‘s future relies on its ability to manage change in staff and culture. The complexities of a global organisation‘s culture are often unspoken. Therefore, organisations that seek to understand the multi-layered, diverse leadership of their teams are changing the future. Organisations today, are realizing the effect the emotional intelligence of their leaders has on team productivity. Cross-cultural communication dynamics between home and host countries are the focus of this short-term program targeted at expatriates and their leadership teams. Each day of customized training explores a different way of looking at how to leverage diversity and develop effective team dynamics. This two- or three-day program is targeted at expatriates and ideally includes the involvement of their teams. An Insights Profile is the Jungian-based psychometric component used and can be translated into 40 languages. The Insights into Personal Effectiveness Program serves as the launch pad for an expatriate‘s ability to improve their impact on organisational effectiveness. The Managing Ecoshock Program is designed to highlight the psycho-social challenges faced by an expatriate during an assignment. Although experience teaches that these programs naturally compliment one another, they can also stand alone.
  11. 11. Afterwards, expatriates in emerging and global organisations can begin to design and plan their self, team and organisational strategies to complement the political and cultural complexities they face. For both expatriate and organisation, the expatriate training program specifically addresses the needs of global leadership development. Equipping participants with communication strategies, managing diversity tools and awareness of their responsibility to lead communities, this program is supplemented by growth options depending on the needs and requirements of any one individual or team. The strategic goals of these programs combined are: • To provide a thorough introduction to the communication strategies involved in optimising a culturally diverse environment. • To enable participants to, cognitively and effectively, increase their ability to recognise, understand and appreciate diversity in the workplace and leadership community. • To enhance expatriates' and their teams‘ cooperative conflict management skills. Insights into Personal Effectiveness Program The Insights into Personal Effectiveness Program is a powerful interpersonal effectiveness training program. It introduces the Insights psychometric system that makes accessible the predictable difficulty in understanding the differences in personalities and the roadblocks these naturally create in working relationships. Using an experiential approach, accommodating all learning styles, participants learn a common language and framework to understand personality differences. With this awareness they are able to recognize and adapt to the needs of different kinds of people and therefore enhance their capacity to communicate and build relationships. Emphasis is placed on leading self, team and organisation with explicit instructing in conflict management skills. At the end of the program participants will:
  12. 12. • Have an understanding of self and their impact upon others. • Understand the behavioural style and communication needs of others, including internal and external customers. • Understand the reasons for conflict that are rooted in personality differences. • Develop skills in ―adapting and connecting‖ to conflict response styles of self and others to better manage interpersonal interactions in different situations. • Communicate more effectively using appropriate interpersonal skills to foster teamwork and positive relations within the work environment. Managing Ecoshock Training Program The Managing Ecoshock Program is a learning tool for expatriates in how to understand the dynamics of living abroad. It highlights the psychological realities of culture shock and the international assignment cycle, providing resources and recommendations for ensuring a successful assignment. At the end of the program participants will: • Understand the different phases of the international assignment cycle. • Understand how to identify the causes and symptoms of culture shock during an expatriate assignment. • Have an opportunity to assess and reflect on their own level of culture shock susceptibility. • Have an understanding of how to successfully plan to combat culture shock. Q3: A detailed report on the creation of Consulting Proposal for going to markets, Opportunities available, Challenges faced by the marketers of the given company/industry/product. Background Information Heritage Health Foundation, Inc., as part of its mission ―to improve the capacity of the communities of the Mon River Valley,‖ sponsors the Tri Boro Development Forum (TBDF).
  13. 13. TBDF is a coalition of community organizations, municipal governments, businesses, and residents in the four boroughs of Braddock, North Braddock, Rankin, and Swissvale. The mission of the Forum is to collaborate and use the combined strengths and individual talents of its members to improve the overall quality of life in its constituent communities. It sponsors activities in these communities and serves as a neutral facilitator bringing local groups and individuals together to achieve this goal. The Forum holds monthly public meetings in which members discuss issues that affect residents of the four boroughs. These meetings are currently poorly attended, due in part to the fact that many residents are unaware of the organization‘s activities. Because the Forum needs community involvement to meet its mission, it seeks to raise its profile and better engage community residents. II. Consulting Tasks In order to communicate more effectively with the community, we decided to create a website. This site would be able to convey information about the organizations to the public, as well as hold details about upcoming and past events. A requirement for this site was that it be easy to update and allow multiple contributors, so that the site reflects the distinct communities that make up the Forum. In addition to the website, we planned to create an e-newsletter that could be easily sent to people involved with or interested in the organization. This newsletter would complement the website by highlighting new content and reaching out to people (rather than waiting for them to look for the website). To gain readership, the newsletter would be incorporated into the website, to allow people to read old issues and subscribe to future ones. III. Outcomes Analysis and Recommendations A website for the Forum was created and can be viewed at www.tbdfconnects.org. The site contains information about the organization, including its mission, activities, and members. It also has an interactive calendar, user registration, and pages for news from each borough. Each borough page is to be maintained by a volunteer from that borough. The site was built on DotNetNuke, a content management system. This software makes the administration of the website simple, with WYSIWYG text editors and buttons to add and delete pages. The software also has built in features that we utilized, such as user registration and the calendar, as well as some that could be added in the future, such as a blog or message board. The major risk to the sustainability of the website is that it will require consistent maintenance on the part of the organization. The administrator and borough volunteers will need to ensure that the content on the site stays current to keep the interest of the community. In addition to the website, a procedure for creating and distributing an e-newsletter was created. The newsletter is created in Microsoft Word using a template and then converted into html format. It is then sent using the bulk email feature on the website. Anybody can subscribe himself or herself to the newsletter by signing up on the website. The risk to the sustainability of the newsletter is similar to that of the website. Each issue of the newsletter will need new content and will take time to prepare. The risk is that the motivation for creating the newsletter will subside and that it will be neglected. To counter this risk, the process of creating and sending the newsletter has been made simple and fast. Additionally, the monthly Forum meetings serve as a motivator for sending out the newsletter.
  14. 14. In the future, I recommend that the organization create and implement a maintenance plan. This plan encompasses maintaining both the content and the software of the website. Policies for content update should be created and followed to ensure that the content stays up to date. Additionally, upgrades to the DotNetNuke core software and modules should be monitored and installed when available. recommend that new features be added to the website over time. The site usage should be monitored to gauge interest in the website before adding new features. In addition, care should be taken in adding features that will require a lot of upkeep, such as a blog. Improve Communications A web portal site was created and can be viewed at www.tbdfconnects.org. Screenshots of the website can be found in Appendix A. The site was developed using DotNetNuke, which makes it easy for the members of the Forum to update. The website contains information on TBDF itself, community resources, and the four boroughs. It also has the following features: • Events calendar • User registration • Subscription to newsletter • Search functionality Registered users are automatically subscribed to the newsletter. They also have the ability to add events to the calendar and register for events. Prior to the creation of the website, there was very little information about TBDF accessible to the public. Brochures with obsolete information were available at the HHFI building, but they were not in distribution. The only method of spreading information was by word of mouth from active participants in the Forum and occasional flyers for events. Now, TBDF has a web presence that informs the community of its purpose, accomplishments, and current initiatives. The site invites readers to get involved in the community by attending the many events, including the monthly Forum meetings. Furthermore, the site can be easily updated by the CP, so the information will stay current. The website serves the mission of the Forum by increasing the awareness of the organization within the community. By knowing about the Forum, it is likely that more residents will want to participate and attend the monthly meetings. Increasing the number of people involved in the organization directly serves the mission of ―bringing… individuals together.‖ The events calendar on the website also helps to increase the capacity of the organization, as it allows more people to learn of, and therefore attend, the activities that TBDF sponsors. The sustainability of the website is dependent upon the motivation of the CP and the members of the Forum. Four people, one per borough, will be in charge of maintaining the borough sections of the website. Two of these editors have been identified, while two still need to be found. These volunteers will be trained at the next borough meeting (May 15) in maintaining the website in DotNetNuke, specifically in adding/deleting pages, creating and configuring modules, and
  15. 15. adding calendar events. To sustain the knowledge gained in the training session, I recommend that the organization purchase a book or two about DNN and bookmark DNN websites. By training multiple people in the website maintenance, the knowledge is more likely to be sustained and passed on than if only one person was trained. The CP is in charge of the administration of the website. He will maintain the user accounts and permissions, decide when upgrades are needed, and maintain the non-borough pages His training has occurred throughout the development process: he helped configure the website, so is well versed in creating pages and adding modules. He has not only added events to the calendar, but has changed the calendar settings and added event options. He has created user roles, modified their permissions, and adjusted user account settings. The website has been online as of April 18th, and has not yet had many visitors. Only three people have registered with the website, and they work at HHFI announced the launch of the website, which will hopefully help bring in new visitors, who will register for the site. The biggest risk to the sustainability of the website is that the editors and administrators will neglect their maintenance duties. Because the editors are volunteers, it will be important to motivate them to update the website. The monthly e-newsletter will serve as a deadline for website updates, and policies for borough editors have been developed The newsletter deadline will require news and events to be added to the website before the newsletter is sent out. Other risks to the sustainability of the website are of a technical nature. Web sites are always at risk of being compromised due to security vulnerabilities, which can result in the site being disabled or having unauthorized content added. One way to mitigate this risk is to keep the software on the site up to date. For this reason, I am recommending as part of a maintenance plan that the CP periodically check for DotNetNuke updates. If the website is compromised, the site can be restored to its previous state. CrystalTech creates daily backups of the database and file system, which can be restored for a small fee. Jay Volk should be contacted to request a site restoration. The website has allowed members of the forum to see the potential for technology in their group. When introducing the website and describing what features it would have during the monthly meeting, some members thought of new uses for the website, such as putting up the minutes from the borough council meetings. They realized that the website will allow them to involve the community in many ways. Also, by using a portal website that will allow users to contribute content, the website has the potential to be an online version of the forum – by allowing users to comment on ideas, they can have input from members of the community that are not able to attend meetings. Task 2. Develop e-Newsletter An e-newsletter has been developed in order to expand upon the communication opportunities offered by a website. The newsletter is able to communicate the most recent happenings at TBDF to residents in a timely manner. This will allow citizens to know what is happening in the organization and community, even if they are unable to attend the meetings. A process for creating the e-newsletter and distributing it has been developed by the CP and the consultant. The CP has a template in Word (see Appendix C) that he uses as a basis for each newsletter. The CP is well versed in using Word, so no new software needed to be learned in order to create the newsletter. After the newsletter has been created, the Word document is saved
  16. 16. as an html webpage. The e-newsletter is sent out via the newsletter functionality of the DotNetNuke system. It automatically sends the newsletter to all subscribers of the site and any additional addresses specified. The html code created by Word is copied over to a text box on the website, where it can be previewed and edited before being sent out. In addition to sending out the enewsletter,it will also be archived on the website and distributed in paper form for those without computers. The CP has sent out several test newsletters during training sessions with the consultant. He also created and sent out the first e-newsletter using the website service on May 4th. This newsletter was sent to a list of e-mail addresses that the CP already had, and it contained an announcement for launch of the website. The e-newsletter increases the capacity of the organization in the same ways that the website does: it informs the community and encourages involvement in the organization and its activities. The enewsletter allows TBDF to reach out to people to tell them what is happening, rather than waiting for people to look at the website. Because it will be sent out on a monthly basis, it will keep people current with Forum happenings. The e-newsletter can be sustained by making it easy to create and send out. Because it can be made in Word, the newsletter does not take long to create. The template reduces the time needed to format the document. By using the website newsletter capability, the CP can easily send the newsletter to everyone who has subscribed themselves, so he won‘t need to maintain a separate email list. Heritage Health Foundation, TBDF‘s parent organization, already sends out a monthly paper newsletter (Snapshots), so it has demonstrated the ability to sustain a monthly newsletter. The staff members who put together Snapshots can serve as a resource for the CP in formatting the newsletter for printing. Recommendation 1. Create and implement a maintenance plan A well-maintained website means having current content and software. These two concerns are likely to generate interest among visitors and keep them coming back. Current content ensures that visitors will have a reason to return, while current software will make the experience of visiting the site more pleasing. Keeping the software up-to-date allows better features to be implemented and reduces security risks. To ensure that the content of the website stays current, a policy for updating it should be developed. By keeping the content up to date, visitors will be more likely to return repeatedly: few people will return to a site that never changes. However, this will require diligence on the part of the website administrator and borough editors. Content should be updated on a monthly basis, at minimum. To ensure that the software for the website is up-to-date, the website administrator should check for updates every three months. Updates to the DotNetNuke modules can be performed by the administrator, while updates to the DotNetNuke core should be installed by the technical web consultant. Approach The policy for updating content should include statements such as the following:
  17. 17. • The monthly TBDF meetings generate ideas and issues that should be shared on the website. Prior to the meetings, the agenda should be added to the website. If visitors can see what will be discussed, they may attend to voice their opinions. This could bring new members into the Forum. After meetings, the minutes should be added to the website within a few days. This will allow people who were unable to attend to stay current with the issues discussed. • Large initiatives taken on by TBDF, such as the Carrie Furnace redevelopment planning, should have their own web page on the site. This page can then be updated when progress is made on the project. • Community events should be added to the calendar as soon as their details have been finalized. Additionally, posting digital versions of event flyers or creating event web pages will allow for detailed descriptions. Posting pdf‘s has the benefit of allowing others to print and distribute copies of the flyers. • After events, photos should be added to the web site gallery within a few days. • Recurring calendar events should be checked periodically (every 2-3 months) to make sure the information is current. Also, the end date for ongoing periodic events should be kept at least three months into the future. The following procedures describe how to check for and install updates to DotNetNuke. • To check for module updates, log in to the Host account on the website. In the administrator toolbox at the top of the page, click on the ―Install New Features‖ link. This will open the ―Module Definitions‖ page, which lists the current module versions. A green check mark located next to the module name indicates that an update is available. • To install a module update, download the install version of the selected module from the Downloads section on the DotNetNuke website (www.dotnetnuke.com) and save it to your computer. After that, follow the procedure in the previous item to get to the Module Definitions page. At the bottom of this page, click on the ―Install New Module‖ link. This will bring you to a File Upload page, where you will add the zip file you just downloaded from the website. After locating the file, press ―Add,‖ and then ―Save File.‖ A log of the installation
  18. 18. process will appear, and it should end with ―Installation Successful.‖ Click on the return link. An error page may appear at this point, don‘t be alarmed. It is a bug in DotNetNuke; reload the page and it will load normally. • To check for updates to the DotNetNuke portal software, look at the Downloads section of the DotNetNuke website. Determine the most recent version of DotNetNuke in the 3.x branch. (4.x versions require ASP.NET 2.0, which is not supported on the current web hosting plan). To check for the installed version, log in to the Host account. Go to the Portals page, located in the Host menu. This page shows the current version of the DNN core software (3.3.7 as of this writing). • Jay Volk should be contacted to assist with updating the DNN core software. The process will involve manually backing up the database and files, which only Jay has the ability to do. Introduce new features In order for the website to reach its full potential as an interactive online version of the Forum, new features should be added. These should be rolled out as interest in the site grows, rather than implemented suddenly. If too many features are added before the site has a solid user base, they run the risk of laying dormant. Possible features include an online forum, blog, and surveys. In addition to these features, the possibility of local sponsors should be explored. Approach Before adding new features, monitor the site usage. This can be done in from the Site Log page in the Admin menu. A variety of report options are available. A detailed site log contains information on each visitor, including name, browser used, referring link, and pages visited. A page popularity report details the number of times each page has been requested. The Page Views by time_unit report will show how many pages were viewed on each hour, day, or month during the specified time period. Lastly, the Site Referrals report states each link that referred visitors to the site (and how many times). These reports will give a good indication of how much the site is being used and which pages are the most popular. Adding new features that are already included as modules in DotNetNuke is fairly straightforward. Create a new page and add the module to the content pane. I recommend keeping the visibility of the new page to the administrator only during the setup. This will prevent people from seeing the page before the module is configured. In addition to those modules included with DotNetNuke, many independently developed modules are available for sale on www.snowcovered.com. When considering new features, look for information on how to make them successful. For instance, ―The ABC of building a successful forum‖ has several good tips on how to manage an online forum [2]. One such tip is to not start out ―with too many sub forums… you'll get much more activity and participation if you have five interesting threads next to each other in one forum, rather than five threads in five different forums.‖ For a blog, the key is to post updates
  19. 19. frequently. Sharon Housley [3] warns ―that blogging requires time and effort, don't create unrealistic expectations and be unable to deliver.‖ She also recommends including the blog content in an RSS feed to increase readership. An additional feature to pursue would be to get local businesses to sponsor the website. Having information about the number of site visitors and page views will help when approaching businesses. A simple text/html module containing a logo, link, and/or blurb about the sponsor can be added globally to the side panel of every page. Local sponsors will help defray the hosting cost of the website, as well as encourage the economic development of the area by promoting local businesses. Q4: Develop a model by providing a feasibility report for setting up a consultancy dealing in particular product line. PURPOSE OF THE DOCUMENT Pre-feasibility studies are developed primarily to facilitate potential entrepreneurs in project identification for investment. Pre-feasibility Studies may form the basis on which an important investment decision maybe made. The document covers various aspects of the business venture from project concept development to, financing and business management. 3 PROJECT PROFILE The project is about starting a cut flower farm near pattoki Pre-feasibility-study Cut Flower Farm (Roses) 3.1 Project Brief Cut flowers growth is not a new phenomenon in floricultural sector of Pakistan; however it is an infant industry as far as its growth is concerned. The resource rich local soil provides ideal agronomic conditions for the production of cut flowers. Despite lack of knowledge on modern floricultural production techniques, difficulty in obtaining the latest varieties and the lack of infrastructure, the industry is continuously attracting new entrants. This pre-feasibility is being prepared by SMEDA and is intended to provide general information on the opportunity for an investor in the floricultural sector to develop cutflowers farm of roses for supply in local market. Roses are the most traded of all cut flower varieties around the world. The trend in Pakistan is no different. 3.2 Project Rationale Growing cut flowers, especially roses, is a very profitable business if done properly on commercial basis. Demand for cut flowers, especially roses, is growing tremendously as more and more people are becoming aware of the beauty of flowers as decorative items. Weddings, birthday parties, seminars, and other such social gathering events are incomplete without floral decorations. Besides earning money one also helps keep the environment clean and beautiful. Though it is a capital-intensive project, the high returns as compared to any other agricultural venture makes it economically viable. Low cost of labor combined with very reasonable land lease rates and helpful climatic conditions for most part of the year serve as the basis for making this project attractive. Rose plants are easily available and are very cheap. 4 PROCESS FLOW CHART
  20. 20. 5 VIABLE ECONOMIC SIZE A small farm of 5 acres would be economically viable considering the amount of effort and money required and returns expected. Besides rose growing fields of 5 acres, another 2 kanal of land is required to perform post-harvesting functions and other related chores. 6 CURRENT INDUSTRY STRUCTURE Impulse serves as the center for floricultural activity in Delhi. Though sarita viharand Sheikhupura districts have also developed some expertise in this field, yet Pattoki still serves as the hub market for all floricultural trade. Patto ‗mandi‘ is the major forum for buying and selling of fresh cut flowers, especially roses. From Pattoki, flowers are distributed to all parts of the country including Karachi, Peshawar, Lahore, and Islamabad. Overall, this sector is still in infancy, still going through birth pains. This is not a good sign considering the years this sector has been around. The major reason for this slow development process has been the lack of interest on part of progressive farmers to enter this field. The credit goes to small and poor farmers who have kept on going without much technical and/or financial support over the years. Whatever pre-harvest and postharvest handling techniques are being used is the direct result of their personal ingenuity, however primitive they may be. There are only few major players in this industry. Majority of the industry is unorganized. Therefore, there is great potential for anyone who comes into this field and does farming on progressive basis. SALES & MARKETING ISSUES Local market of cut flowers, especially for different varieties and colors in roses, is still growing. Pattoki area is the major supplier to fulfill this demand. There are two basic market segments for flowers: a) Retail sales to consumers b) Wholesale sales to corporate and institutional customers In every major city of the country there are numerous retail outlets selling all kinds of flowers to consumers. These outlets could be anything from a roadside corner kiosk to a proper retail outlet shop in some high-end urban locality. These shops are either fed directly from farms or through a middleman or distributor. Some shops buy directly from ‗mandi‘ as well. Buying directly from the farms give bigger shops access to better quality flowers as flowers do not go through too many different hands and there is less wear and tear. Another important aspect of buying directly from farms is better profit margins for both farm owners as well as shopkeepers. This they achieve by eliminating the middleman. But this setup is quite rare. Nine out of ten times it‘s the distributor who is the supplier to most of small shops in the city. A major advantage of buying from distributors is the availability of credit facility. Besides retail outlets the major buyers are corporate and institutional customers. These include hotels, offices and most importantly party decorators and marriage halls. All these institutional as well as corporate customers are fed by wholesale dealers and distributors. They buy in bulk quantities. For party decorators high quality is not an issue as they use the flowers only once. Once the party is over the flowers go to the bin. As far as hotels and offices are concerned, quality is an important issue. But again as flowers are changed everyday, they don‘t need long life product.
  21. 21. Some small traders have developed another sale channel. They buy from Pattoki ‗mandi‘ in the morning and bring their product to Begumkot (Sheikhupura District) ‗mandi‘ and resell it for profit. From Begumkot ‗mandi‘ either the shopkeepers or wholesale Pre-feasibility-study Cut Flower Farm (Roses) distributors and traders buy this stuff and sell in cities like Lahore, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, etc. FARM INPUTS Following inputs are required: Land Land requirement is 5 acres for growing flowers and 2 kanals as area for sorting, washing, drying, packing and other related facilities. Land is to be obtained on lease. At present, lease rate in Pattoki area is Rs 15000 per acre per year. Description Area(in acres) Cost / Rate Amount / Other Land price / acre 700,000 Land lease cost /acre / year 15,000 Room 0.002 Shed 0.037 Field 5.000 Total Land Requirement 5.04 Land purchase price 3,527,319 Land lease cost 75,585 Flower Plants Roughly 11,000 plants would be planted in each acre, approximately 4-ft2 area for each rose plant. These plants would be brought from a commercial nursery. New plants are grafted in July by the nurseries and are ready to be transferred to the field in January. Starting from January, these six months old plants at the farm are to be taken care of till October. During this period, the fields are to be looked after as if they are in production. Water, pesticide spray, fertilizer, and labor requirements remain the same as for a commercially running farm. Rose flowers produced during this development stage are not cut along with stem from the plant. Only the flower is picked but not sold commercially because it is not yet fit for commercial sale. From November you start to take commercial production from the farm. In all 54,450 plants of rose would be required. Each six-month old plant costs Rs 10 on average when bought from nursery. An important point is that the average life of a rose flower plant is 5 years. After 5 years all the plants would have to be replaced with new ones. Pre-feasibility-study Cut Flower Farm (Roses) Water Water is a regular requirement of flower plants, as is for any living thing. If fresh canal water were available, this would be the ideal situation. Firstly, the quality of water is good and it is very useful for plants. Secondly, if canal water were available it would cut out the expenses of installation of a tube well and the electricity or diesel cost of running that tube well. In Pattoki area, canal water is available for irrigation. But to be on the safe side water-pump should also be installed at the farm. It would cost about Rs 50,000 to install a reasonable capacity and quality pump. The average cost of water and upkeep of water channels costs about Rs 1,500 per acre per year. During April, May and June, fields are
  22. 22. irrigated every week. Otherwise the normal practice is irrigating every 20-25 days. Labor General formula is 1 person per acre excluding the foreman and farm manager. This Laborer would cost Rs 4,000/month/acre. In all 5 laborers would be required. These laborers would also act as pickers, cleaners, sorters, packers, etc. There would be 1 foreman to keep the work moving and one farm manager cum accountant to manage the farm overall. During peak season, temporary pickers can be hired on daily wages. But that cost is negligible. Foreman could be hired for Rs 6000/- month, whereas the manager cum accountant would be hired for Rs 8,000/month. Table 6- 8-1 Required Manpower in the Year 1 of the Operation. Post # of personnel Salary/month 1st year cost Manager/Accountant 1 8,000 96,000 Foreman 1 6,000 72,000 Semi-Skilled Workers 5 4,000 240,000 Total 7 150,000 Pesticide Sprays Between April and November, one spray of pesticides is required every fortnight. From December till March only one pesticide spray is required per month as prevention against fungus. One pesticide spray costs Rs 5000 resulting in total cost of sprays per acre per year is Rs 25,000. Material Required Material Cost/Acre(Bag) Acres/Bags Amount Pesticide Sprays 5,000 5 25,000 Pre-feasibility-study Cut Flower Farm (Roses) PREF-27/December 2006 /Rev2 Fertilizers Flower plants require DAP, potash, and ammonium nitrate fertilizers for proper yield. Sometimes one or two bags of urea are also required. 4 bags of DAP are required every quarter at Rs 1000/bag. 3 bags of potash are required every quarter at Rs 700/bag, and 4 bags of ammonium nitrate are required every quarter at Rs 350/bag.But for this feasibility we are using the combination of NPK which cost 500/bag and 2 bags per month per acre are required. Fertilizers Required Material Cost/Acre(Bag) Acres/Bags Amount NPK 500 24 60,000 Building & Shed This project does not require any major building structure. Only a small room for storage purpose is required. A maximum of 10‘x10‘ room is enough. Besides storage room, one proper shed is required. This is an important requirement. The shed should be 40‘x40‘ covered area with open sides for air passage. This area is to be used for washing, sorting, packing, and other post harvest activities. The construction rate is Rs 100 per square feet. This construction rate is based on the fact that the room and the shed would be made up of semi-baked bricks using local masonry skills. The idea is to cut the initial capital investment. Farm Fixtures & Tools Basic farm tools and fixtures would include tools for pruning the plants, picking the
  23. 23. flowers, and removing leaves, etc. Besides these tools, other fixtures are required including clean water hand pump, tables, tubs, wooden crates and fans. Total capital requirement for all these items is Rs 40,000. All items would be Pakistan made and are easily available. Packing Rose flowers are either packed in specially designed wooden crates or else in cardboard cartons. Each wooden crate can carry about 25-30 Kg flowers (one-Kg flowers is roughly 60 individual stems). For long distance transportation, an 8-10 Kg ice block is also placed along with flowers to keep their temperature down. Cardboard cartons are usually used for short distance transportation. If they are to be used for long distance transportation, ice, packed in plastic bag, is also placed in each box for cooling effect. Usual gross weight for cardboard cartons is 15-20 Kg. Wooden crates are reusable over longer periods of time. About 100 boxes are enough to keep a cycle of rotation going. Each wooden crate would cost Rs 160. Cardboard carton usually cost Rs 35/box. Pre-feasibility-study Cut Flower Farm (Roses) Transportation Flowers packed in wooden crates and cardboard cartons are transported to big cities from Pattoki via train. To take these crates and/or cartons from farm to railway station a motorcycle cart is used which can be hired on rent at very nominal rates. OUTPUT Production of rose flowers has different seasonal variations. Between November and March, maximum yield is obtained, assessed to be about 70% of total production in a year. From mid April till mid June, there is no flower for commercial sale. From mid June till October, the situation gets better steadily and slowly. On an average, one plant of rose flower has an average yield of 50 flowers per year. Out of these 50, about 20 flowers are not up to the required standard and are destroyed either by man handling or by some disease. These are sold as petals. Therefore, only 30 flowers per plant per year are available for commercial sales. Sale price also depends on season, quality and size of flowers. It varies from Rs 35 for hundred stems to Rs 550 per hundred stems. But if we average out the price over the period of 12 months, one rose stem sells minimum for Rs 1 Sale is against credit and usual credit period is 15 days. The complete produce of the farm would be sold in open market and to wholesalers, on daily basis. Direct supply to flower shops is possible if the offer is attractive. OVERALL PICTURE The over-all picture would go something like this that once you have planted six-month old rose plants in the fields in January, from there on till October, you have to look after the farm in all respects, including fertilizers, pesticides, etc. but without any yield. Flowers would bloom but they would not be used for commercial sale as their stem would still be smaller and if cut at that time it would destroy the plant and/or reduce its life. From November onwards the farm would be ready for production. In the first year, ending in December, only two months of production would be available for commercial sales. Next year approximately 80% capacity would be reached and in the third year farm would be operating on full capacity. Pre-feasibility-study Cut Flower Farm (Roses) GENERAL FACTS & FIGURES *Farm at 100% capacity
  24. 24. Total Area 5 acres Total no. of rose flower plants 54,450 Average no. of saleable flowers /plant / year 30 Total available saleable flowers/year 1,633,500 FINANCIAL ANALYSIS 12.1 Capital Investment Capital Investment Rs. Building/Infrastructure 153,000 Land tillage and saplings 594,000 Machinery & Equipment 50,000 Pre-operating costs 21,701 Total Capital Costs 818,701 Working Capital Working Capital Rs. Raw material inventory 98,058 Upfront land lease rental 75,585 Cash 250,000 Total Working Capital 423,644 12.3 Initial Financing Initial Financing Rs. Debt 621,173 Equity 621,173 Total Investment 1,242,345 Pre-feasibility-study Cut Flower Farm (Roses) PREF-27/December 2006 /Rev2 13 Table 12-1 Project Returns Project IRR 59% NPV 1,838,888 Payback Period 2.25 REGULATION There is no government regulation, which affects this business. KEY SUCCESS FACTORS The proposed project would have a number of competitive advantages: 1) Low cost of labor 2) Lower rent rate of available land 3) Growing local market 4) Country profile suites this project. THREATS Flowers are perishable products with a limited life span. Without any life enhancing treatment, its shelf life is three days to four days maximum. Therefore, flowers should be transported from the field as soon as possible in order to take advantage of its short life. There are certain diseases that can affect flowers detrimentally, but timely pesticide sprays act as a defense against such threats. ASSUMPTIONS The proposed project is based on following assumptions:
  25. 25. 1) Only rose flowers would be grown 2) Approximately 11,000 plants are planted per acre 3) Farm is based in Delhi area 4) Already grafted plants would be bought from a nursery 5) Canal & Pump water would be used for irrigation

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